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Why do patients with Simple Mechanical Back Pain seek Urgent Care?

Abstract

Objective

To explore why patients with simple mechanical back pain seek urgent care.

Design

Qualitative Exploratory Inquiry based on the principles of Grounded Theory.

Setting

Urgent Care.

Methods

Data collection by semi-structured interview.

Participants

Eleven patients presenting to urgent care (Accident and emergency, Walk-in Centre and Out of hours service) with back pain.

Results

The study identified eight key motivators of patients with mechanical back pain seeking urgent care: (1) GP access, (2) Pain, (3) Function, (4) Something being different, (5) Something being wrong, (6) Desire for investigation, (7) Third Party Influence and (8) Repeat visits.

Conclusion

This study provides some evidence to support the notion that patients are willing to use primary care services for the treatment of Simple Mechanical Back Pain but that access is frequently limited and untimely. The study concludes that inappropriate attendances at urgent care facilities are frequently a human response to perception of pain severity which is reinforced by functional loss, uncertainty, the need to provide care for others and the encouragement of others. While it is asserted that there is a clear need for mass education in this area, it is also speculated that attendance at urgent care may occur to overtly escalate the need for assistance and illustrate to sceptical significant others the severity of the condition.

Cite this article

Why do patients with Simple Mechanical Back Pain seek Urgent Care? Physiotherapy-March 2014 (Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pages 66-72, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2013.08.001)

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